Nottinghamshire are on the verge of securing promotion after an emphatic innings-and-six-runs victory an hour after lunch on the third day against Derbyshire at Chesterfield. Following on, Derbyshire were always up against it and although they lifted themselves past 300, they still couldn't make the visitors bat again. Travis Birt top scored with 85, while Hassan Adnan made a fifty. Samit Patel ended with three wickets. The promotion spot is now Nottinghamshire's to lose: Middlesex need to win their last two matches to even have a sniff, while Notts only have to take six points from their final match at champions Somerset.
Nicky Boje took 6 for 110 as Northamptonshire capitalised on their dominant position to take the honours in the lower-table clash with Leicestershire at Grace Road. Paul Nixon's brave century and the efforts of the lower order propped them up for a while, but ultimately they could not stave off defeat and they sank 177 runs behind with more than 23 overs remaining.
Surrey did their chances of staving off relegation no end of good at Edgbaston, ending the third day on 2 for 0 chasing a target of 177 to beat fellow strugglers Warwickshire. Surrey's first-innings lead of 88 was wiped out for the loss of one wicket as Ian Westwood and Jonathan Trott put on 101 for the second wicket, but Jade Dernbach's dismissal of Westwood, who had been dropped by James Benning when in single figures, started a slide in which nine wickets fell for 142 runs.